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Framed
December 08, 2014

Free From Form

Text by Huzan Tata

Mumbai’s Delhi Art Gallery takes you into the world of Indian abstract paintings through its latest show

If you think paintings should include only portraits, landscapes, scenery or something true to life, well, you’ve obviously you haven’t fallen in love with abstract art. For some, abstract works, created with free-flowing shapes, textures and colours lacking visual reference from reality manage to provide a canvas for the imagination to run wild – to allow your mind to explore the unseen.

Delhi Art Gallery’s Mumbai venue gives you the chance to view and experience this style in its latest show, Indian Abstracts: An Absence of Form. The exhibition features 350 works by around 70 artists, and charts the development of abstraction in modern Indian art, from the early 1950s to the present day.

From artists SH Raza, Nasreen Mohammedi, Zarina Hashmi and VS Gaitonde – who preferred to call his art ‘non-objective’ as opposed to abstract – to Jeram Patel, Shanti Dave, Ganesh Haloi, Krishna Reddy and J Swaminathan, the gallery has on display the best of Indian abstract painters. Their works had several influences, from East-Asian art and Western abstracts (specifically works by artists Klee, Rothko, Pollock and Calder), to traditional and folk paintings for their themes and techniques.

For those looking for something more, the show also brings together lesser-known abstract works of artists famous for their figurative paintings. These include artworks by master painters MF Husain, Sunil Das, Somnath Hore, Dharamnarayan Dasgupta, Benode Behari Mukherjee, and Rabin Mondal. Their abstract paintings are each striking in their own way, and are important pieces of art in the world of Indian modernism.

Catch the show to view the colours of FN Souza, the geometric patterns of Biren De and the visual stories of KS Kulkarni, among many others.

Indian Abstracts: An Absence of Form is on display at Delhi Art Gallery, Mumbai from December 8, 2014 to January 31, 2015.

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